Locally-owned businesses are the lifeblood of a community. They portray a community’s distinctive character and offer a broader range of product choices – and those Main Street public spaces promote community cohesiveness.
But today, ecommerce giants and “big-box” retailers threaten the small businesses that employ half of the working population in America.
Many of our friends, neighbors and family members are likely to own or work for a small, local business – and they deserve our support. That’s exactly what the organizers of Go Local Temecula Valley have in mind.
Go Local Temecula Valley is a local business support initiative founded and sponsored by Temecula-based National Merchants Association (NMA), a merchant advocacy group and payment processor. The purpose of Go Local Temecula Valley is two-pronged: to support locally-owned businesses by facilitating business-to-business collaboration; and to launch marketing campaigns that encourage area residents to patronize local businesses first.
“We are excited to be a part of the Go Local program,” said Bob Patel, owner of the new Vail Pizzeria, located in the new Vail Headquarters shopping development in Temecula. “We are grateful for anyone who wants to help support small businesses like ours.”
Studies indicate that money spent at locally-owned businesses creates 3 ½ times the local economic impact when compared with money spent at “big-box” retailers, or retail and restaurant chains. This impact includes everything from tax-generated community benefits like fire and police, to job creation, sustainability, quality of life for workers, and commercial and resident investment.
“When you spend a dollar bill at a locally-owned business, that dollar bill is much more likely to be spent over and over again within the community,” said Go Local team member Holly Grieco. “The benefits of that are huge for the local economy and the community as a whole.”
Go Local organizers have been meeting with business leaders and city officials, and is working to develop partnerships with area chambers of commerce, city governments and business-focused organizations throughout the valley.
“We are hoping to support the great work that those groups already do,” said Go Local team member Jeff Pack. “We see this as an opportunity to give back to the business community and we hope cities, chambers and groups will partner with us to make the program as effective as possible. Those organizations are doing vitally important work in the community, and we just want to do our part to contribute.”
National Merchants Association has been headquartered in Temecula since 2012, and NMA’s CEO Heather Petersen determined that it was time to increase their support for the business community that has supported them over the past four years.
“We’re very proud to help launch this program, and we’re excited about the feedback we’ve already received from other business owners and local residents,” Petersen said. “We think it’s something people will rally around, because everybody benefits from a healthy local business environment.”
Businesses that sign up for the program will be provided consumer-facing promotion and networking and event opportunities — free of any membership fee or commitment. Go Local member businesses will receive digital, social media and print advertising support, as well as other benefits.
Group organizers are also seeking candidates for the Go Local leadership committee, which will help guide the program going forward. “We know there are a lot of bright minds out there that can bring fresh ideas to the table — that’s who we want to be involved with Go Local,” Pack said.
Consumers who sign up for free will receive information and special offers from Go Local member businesses. Local businesses that sign up will receive helpful information about the economic benefits of using local vendors and services; opportunities for collaboration with other member businesses; and Go Local promotional materials and collateral.
Consumers and business owners can sign up at www.joingolocal.com. For more information on the Go Local program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.